The Telangana Congress leaders who came back from New Delhi on Saturday after initial rounds of discussions with the AICC general secretary, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, said that the ball was now in the party leadership court. They said they would withdraw their resignations if the leadership gave an assurance regarding Telangana by July 31, else they would have to continue with their agitations. The panchayat raj minister, Mr K. Jana Reddy, also announced that 12 of the 23 members of the Telangana Congress Steering Committee would attend the formal talks on July 25 with Mr Azad.
“But till the time the high command gives an assurance about preparing a road map for the formation of a Telangana state, we will not take back our resignations,” Mr Jana Reddy said. The BC welfare minister, Mr Basavaraju Saraiah, added that all Telangana ministers would continue to stay away from their duties till the party decided favourably on the matter. The Nalgonda MP, Mr Gutta Sukhender Reddy, meanwhile, said that there was no confusion among the Telangana Congress leaders as was being projected by a section of the media.
“We will wait till July 31. If no announcement comes by then we may have to either boycott Parliament proceedings or disturb the proceedings, seeking a statement,” he said. Pointing out that the Telangana Congress leaders could not offer any alternative proposals, the Karimnagar MP, Mr Ponnam Prabhakar, said that the leadership had asked the home minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, to make a statement on December 9, 2009. “Both Mr Chidambaram and Mr Pranab Mukherjee had made statements to this effect in both the Houses of Parliament, so it is the central Congress leadership and the Union Government who have to implement the announcements. There are no alternatives that we can offer,” Mr Prabhakar said.
The MPs said that Mr Azad has asked the Telangana ministers to resume their duties and cooperate with the functioning of the government but the latter had refused. “We are going for the formal talks just because we don’t want to be branded as adamant. We will decide on what to do from August 1, the day the Monsoon Session of Parliament begins,” said the Bhongir MP, Mr Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy. Deccan Chronicle